Dear Professor Broderick,
Subject: The Future of Sociology at the University of East London
It is with deep regret that I write to you again, following my previous letter dated 20th October. I am contacting you now to express shock that four Professors in Social Sciences have now been served redundancy notices, and will be required to leave UEL within two weeks. Since there has been no response from UEL to our previous letter, both the rationale for the decision and the way in which the process has been handled are unfathomable. Specifically, I am not aware that any consideration at all has been given to the issues that we raised about the importance of research for teaching, for the local community and the academic sector.
The diminution of social science capacity seems strategically short-sighted at a time when the Government itself, through Chief Scientific Advisor, Patrick Vallance, recognise the need for social science to explore the medium- and long-term societal effects and impacts of COVID-19 on society because, although the pandemic is first a medical / health crisis, it is now clearly also a social and cultural crisis https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/publications/covid-19-shape-the-future-what-factors-make-community-more-vulnerable/. UEL will need a strong social science base, and specifically sociological insight, if it is to play a role in this important work at such a critical time.
On behalf of the British Sociological Association, I ask you to reconsider this deeply damaging decision and to urgently examine how to protect and promote the valuable contribution made by social science research at UEL for the future of your staff, students and the wider communities that benefit from this research.
Professor Susan Halford
President, British Sociological Association
Letter sent via email to:
Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice Chancellor, University of East London
Board of Governors, University of East London c/o:
Anulifa Ajufo, Chair of the Board of Governors
Jim Benson, Board of Governors Administrator